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Whether you are planning a weekend trip to watch football in Italy or a long holiday to the Maldives, flight permits are a necessity for travel. And while this process may have been easier in Europe prior to 2021, operators must be thorough when looking to obtain permits for international travel.

The process of obtaining both overflight and landing permits may seem cumbersome, but can be overcome with proper planning. To support this process, below are our four top tips to help you and your team ensure a successful trip, wherever it may be to. 

Tip #1: Prepare with Adequate Lead Time

With the state of private travel within Europe altered by Brexit, it is more important than ever to factor in adequate lead time when submitting requests for permits. While most EU countries are reporting a 2 – 3 working day lead time in order to process and issue charter permits, that’s not to say this process could take longer.

For those looking to travel to China, documents must be submitted at minimum three business days in advance of travel, or else authorities will not begin the approval process. Therefore, it is critical that operators plan ahead of time and request permits as soon as they are aware travel is upcoming. 

Tip #2: Have Clear and Concise Documentation Ready

When it comes to documentation, the process differs significantly depending on which country you are looking to travel to. For those travelling to Italy, this process consists of submitting your respective Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), the operator’s address and other regular aircraft documentation.

Nations like Iceland also follow a similar regiment. However, many aviation authorities in Africa also require a business contact in their nation in order to obtain a landing permit. In addition, flight planning partners can also assist with determining the proper documentation requirements. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that all necessary documentation is prepared and submitted properly.

Tip #3: Don’t Forget about Overflight Permits

It may be easy to remember landing permits, but overflight permits are just as critical. If the proper overflight permits are not obtained, aircraft operators risk having to turn around or face significant delays.

Some nations, such as Gabon in Africa, even require an overflight permit if you are within 250 nautical miles of their shore. For those travelling on a short duration trip, an unexpected delay can dramatically hinder meetings and events that were previously planned. 

Tip #4: Have a Plan B Route

Whether operators like it or not, travel requirements can change at a moment’s notice. During Iceland’s volcanic eruptions in 2010, many European nations closed completely for air traffic. And with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some nations are opening and closing their borders at a moment’s notice.

While there are circumstances that may not allow travel whatsoever, other situations can be resolved by having a backup plan to overfly or land in a different nation. 

Bottom Line

Flight permits are a necessity for travel, and must be carefully planned in order to ensure successful travel. As you contemplate your next trip, be certain to reflect on these flight permit tips, as proper planning can make all the difference.


Feel free to contact our team here at Flightworx today for advice on flight planning and aviation fuel supply.

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